Babbitt (Annotated) Sinclair Lewis

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Kindle Edition

405 pages


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Babbitt (Annotated)  by  Sinclair Lewis

Babbitt (Annotated) by Sinclair Lewis
| Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 405 pages | ISBN: | 10.37 Mb

Babbitt is professionally successful as a realtor. Much of his energy in early chapters is spent on climbing the social ladder through booster functions, real estate sales, and making good with various dignitaries. According to Babbitt, any “decent”MoreBabbitt is professionally successful as a realtor. Much of his energy in early chapters is spent on climbing the social ladder through booster functions, real estate sales, and making good with various dignitaries.

According to Babbitt, any “decent” man in Zenith belonged to at least two or three “lodges” or booster clubs. They were good for potential business partnerships, getting time away from home and family life, and quite simply because “it was the thing to do.” Babbitt admits that while these clubs “stimulated him like brandy,” he often found work dull and nerve-wracking in comparison.

Lewis also paints vivid scenes of Babbitt bartering for liquor (despite being a supporter of Prohibition) and hosting dinner parties. At his college class reunion, Babbitt reconnects with a former classmate, Charles McKelvey, whose success in the construction business made him a millionaire. Seizing the opportunity to hobnob with someone from a wealthier class, Babbitt invites the McKelveys to a dinner party. Although Babbitt hopes the party will help his family rise socially, the McKelveys leave early and do not extend a dinner invitation in return.Gradually, Babbitt realizes his dissatisfaction with The American Dream, and attempts to quell these feelings by going camping in Maine with his close friend and old college roommate Paul Reisling.

When Babbitt and Paul arrive at the camp they marvel at the beauty and simplicity of nature. Looking out over a lake Babbitt comments: “I’d just like to sit here – the rest of my life – and whittle – and sit. And never hear a typewriter.” Paul is similarly entranced, stating: “Oh it’s darn good, Georgie.

There’s something eternal about it.” Although the trip has its ups and downs, the two men consider it an overall success, and leave feeling optimistic about the year ahead.On the day that Babbitt gets elected vice-president of the Booster’s club, he finds out that Paul shot his wife Zilla. Immediately Babbitt drives to the jail where Paul is being kept.

Babbitt is very shaken up by the situation, trying to think of ways to help Paul out. When Paul was sentenced to a three-year jail term, “Babbitt returned to his office to realize that he faced a world which, without Paul, was meaningless.” Shortly after Paul’s arrest, Myra and Tinka go to visit relatives, leaving Babbitt more or less on his own. Alone with his thoughts Babbitt begins to ask himself what it was he really wanted in life.

Eventually, “he stumbled upon the admission that he wanted the fairy girl - in the flesh.” Missing Paul, Babbitt decides to return to Maine. He imagines himself as a rugged outdoorsman, and thinks about what it would be like to become a camp guide himself. Ultimately, however, he is disenchanted with the wilderness and leaves “lonelier than he had ever been in his life.”Eventually Babbitt finds the cure for his loneliness in an attractive new client, Tanis Judique.

He opens up to her about everything that happened with Paul and Zilla, and Tanis proves to be a sympathetic listener. In time, Babbitt begins to rebel against all of the standards he formerly held: he jumps into liberal politics with famous socialist litigator Seneca Doane- conducts an extramarital affair with Tanis- goes on various vacations- and cavorts around Zenith with would-be Bohemians and flappers. But each effort ends up disillusioning him to the concept of rebellion.

On his excursions with Tanis and her group of friends, the Bunch, he learns that even the Bohemians have rigid standards for their subculture. When Virgil Gunch and others discover Babbitts activities with Seneca Doane and Tanis Judique, Virgil tries to convince Babbitt to return to conformity and join their newly founded Good Citizens League.” Babbitt refuses.



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